"Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin

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Pages 3 (753 words)
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The short story "Sonny's Blues" written by James Baldwin informs about suffering of Sonny along with other Black people. The writer takes refuge of various symbolic expressions in order to reveal the suffering of Sonny. The narrator of the short story, Sonny's elder brother, remains unnamed in the whole story and informs about his brother in detail.


The story starts when Sonny's elder brother gains knowledge about Sonny's arrest on the basis of heroin addiction and drug selling. He is quite worried about his brother but he acknowledges the fact that he has never given him enough care and he realizes about Sonny's troubles after his daughter, Grace's death as he says, "my suffering made his real". With his own suffering, he is able to relate to Sonny's suffering. He remembers about his past life in Harlem and the incident of his uncle's death by the drunken white people due to which, his father has always hated white people. Sonny's brother suffers in silence as he never tries to face the reality of his suffering till the end. He along with his brother discovers himself and reconciles with the reality.
Sonny is unable to forget or let go the sufferings he has endured. He finds freedom from the sufferings by being a jazz musician. He thinks that his music allows him to be free of the troubles of his life. However, he thinks that troubles cannot be stopped as he says, "trouble is the one thing that never does get stopped". He considers his life troubled due to which, he gets heroin addict because he thinks it as a source of getting freedom of his sufferings. Like Sonny, his brother also suffers but unlike him, he tries to conceal his sufferings and fears of their revelation. ...
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